Hundreds of survivors of Typhoon Hagupit lined up on Tuesday in Borongan to receive care from the Samaritan’s Purse emergency medical team. Up to 70 percent of the patients were children under 10 years old, including many infants. Our team treated wounds, provided antibiotics, supplied oral rehydration solution, and met other needs for the children and their families with the compassion of Christ.
Our disaster response team was also the first to reach families in Borongan—the area in Eastern Samar hit hardest by last weekend’s devastating storm—with emergency hygiene kits, shelter materials, and other relief supplies.
Residents here continue to suffer from major flooding and landslides. One community we reached has lost 80 percent of their homes. Another was still completely under water.
Myrna Agner told us about the loss her family has suffered.
“Our situation is hopeless,” she said, as she stood next to a pile of debris that used to be her home. “We don’t have food or shelter. Everything was washed away. We don’t even have clothing for our family. There are so many needs.”
Samaritan’s Purse is working to meet needs for storm victims like Myra not only by providing shelter and other physical aid, but also by sharing about salvation in Christ. Not only do we give people a place to lay their head when storms take their home, but we also give them the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that no circumstance can take away their hope.
“Our team is excited to be serving in the Name of Jesus, because as we serve to meet their physical needs, we want to leave them with the hope and assurance that only Jesus can bring,” Jim Barbee, Philippines Country Director said.
This week our teams will continue providing emergency medical care and relief supplies, including clean water and hygiene kits and tarps for shelter to survivors of Typhoon Hagupit.
We are deploying a team to more remote locations in the next few days to make sure needs are being met for the people there.
Survivors Helping Survivors
Much of our relief work is being conducted by national staff, survivors of Haiyan who are now eager to help survivors of Hagupit.
“Just as in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan a year ago, our national staff has demonstrated an incredible commitment to assisting others in need, even as they have experienced great loss themselves,” Barbee said.
Samaritan’s Purse responded in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. Our staff based in Tacloban has continued to help typhoon victims recover by providing shelter, trainings on construction techniques, clean water, hygiene education, and provision of latrines, among other aid. In partnership with the local church, we have supplied Bibles and offered discipleship courses to help reach communities with spiritual care and support.
When Typhoon Hagupit hit the central Philippines on Saturday, our staff was positioned and supplies were prepared to mobilise immediately to help storm victims once again.
Our team in the Philippines expressed gratitude on Tuesday for the restoration they are already seeing God perform in the lives of the storm victims. They asked for prayer that the Lord would help them to love, to make the Gospel known, and that it would set people free.
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” (John 8:31-32).